There’s a lot of discussion over the pros and cons of owning a traditional epoxy/hardboard board vs inflatable paddleboard among paddlers. When it comes to these two options, most individuals are unsure about what to buy and why. That’s understandable, and it’s a good thing. If you’re looking for a long-term investment in the right board for your recreational pursuits, an inflatable paddle board is the way to go. One of the most straightforward solutions is to purchase all of them. In this manner, you’ll be prepared for any scenario that may arise. It, however, isn’t always the case.
The invention of inflatable paddle boards revolutionised the world of Stand Up Paddleboarding. To that point in time, the sport had mostly been the domain of large wave surfers who rode hardboards to catch the waves. Surfing, windsurfing, and kayaking had already developed manufacturing procedures for these rigid boards, which utilised a foam core covered in fibreglass laminates, carbon, or even thin laminates of wood.
Although these boards were helpful in the surf and racing, their inherent fragility and heavy character rendered them unsuitable for most canoe paddles. Paddlers seeking slight advantages in racing or waves may still choose hardboards. Still, the performance gap has been narrowed to nearly nothing, thanks to advancements in materials, design, and creativity in the high-end inflatable paddleboard sector.
- Most boards don’t seem significant or clumsy in the water, making them easier to carry and more stable. It’s not uncommon for the ordinary paddler to have difficulty controlling an 11-foot board while on land. The weight of a typical piece of hardboard is from 20 to 30 pounds. That doesn’t seem like a lot, either. A long beach or a strong wind may make it difficult to transport. Inflatable SUPs typically weigh between 15 and 17 pounds, making them far lighter to carry on land than traditional SUPs.
- Inflatable paddleboards also have more oversized rails, making getting on and off the board more accessible and faster. It will also allow paddlers to carry greater weight on the board. Please expect to be able to carry a more relaxed SUP dog, yourself, and much more on our Atoll inflatable paddleboard! As long as you don’t weigh more than 400 pounds!
- Inflatable paddleboards can be stored in a small area with reasonable simplicity, making them an excellent option for those who don’t have a lot of room for a traditional paddleboard. There is no designated space or rack needed to keep inflatable paddleboards. Because it’s so easy to pack up, you don’t need to inflate it at all! Additionally, this might come in helpful for those who don’t have a roof rack installed on their vehicle. Your SUP may be loaded onto the truck, and you can make your way to the drop-off location without needing to acquire an extra piece of pricey equipment.
- Inflatable boards may be checked in on an airline for international SUP trips! Bring a paddleboard with you everywhere you go, and you’ll never miss a chance to paddle!
- An inflatable paddleboard is far more durable than hardboards, which may come as a surprise to many newcomers. If you were to hit a rock, drop it on asphalt or concrete, or fall on it in the water, you are likely to fracture, chip, or even pierce the base of a hardboard because of its fibreglass, carbon fibre, and epoxy resin structure. If water gets into the foam core, it will take weeks to dry and end up costing a lot of money in repairs. In contrast, military-grade PVC is used to construct inflatable boards, which cover a drop-stitch core and, when inflated, bounce off surfaces readily, preventing punctures and providing a cushioned landing in the event of a fall while paddling.
Author: Alison Lurie